Finally another “live” RAW. Much better than listening to a dubbed in crowd roar over 4 week old squash matches.
Hakushi vs. 1-2-3 Kid
Crowd chants for Razor. Razor apparently hears the fans & joins the broadcast via telephone and dubs the Kid a “cry baby”. Kid grounds Hakushi with a headlock right away. Hakushi rallies with a shoulder block and a dropkick. Hakushi works an armbar as Marty Jannetty runs down and tries to attack The Kid. Refs hold him back. Kid locks in a standing chinlock but Hakushi chop thrusts his way out. Kid downs him again with a karate kick to the face. Hakushi tries to keep the match competitive but misses a dropkick. Kid hits a top rope splash for a near fall. Hakushi connects on a series of chops and a flying shoulderblock. A side kick sends The Kid to the floor but Hakushi’s follow up move off the top is interrupted by Ted DiBiase who shoves Hakushi down to the mat. Spin kick finishes it for The Kid. Disappointingly average match. The Kid is interviewed at ringside and Marty returns to try and get him some of Waltman. Sid puts an end to that via a powerbomb to the cement.
The injury angle leads right into a “Slam Jam” segment for some PPV shilling. Then we see Diesel arriving and chatting with Shawn Michaels.
Savio Vega vs. Skip
They tussle a bit, with Skip nailing an enziguri before Savio manages to suplex Skip and back drop him to the floor. Before we can get anymore titillating action, Diesel interrupts the match and chucks Skip. Diesel’s business casual shirt amuses me for some reason. Nash won’t apologize for what he did to Bret last night. He’s been miserable for the past year as the WWF’s corporate puppet – forced to smile. He gives Shawn some love and explains he’s not turning heel, just regaining his attitude. This felt different and was a small bit of what the WWF needed a lot more of at this point.
Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart
Vince has multiple orgasms over Shawn’s entrance. They start with a reversal sequence that ends with Shawn dropkicking Owen out of the ring. Owen retaliates by clotheslining Shawn to the floor and baseball sliding a boot into Shawn’s face. A German suplex and multiple punches serve to rattle Shawn’s recently concussed brain. A suplex and a spinkick to the face keep Shawn on the defensive. After several more minutes of abuse, Owen finally catches an elbow to the face while charging at Shawn. That allows for Shawn to rally briefly, but Owen regains control and tries for a superplex. Shawn shifts his body weight and lands on Owen for a near fall. Shawn hits a flying forearm and kips up. Owen survives a flying elbow and catches Shawn with an enziguri smack dab to the skull. Shawn blocks the sharpshooter and clotheslines Owen to the floor. Shawn poses, and then grabs his head and collapses in a heap. Owen and Cornette are confused and leery as to what happened –perhaps Michaels is playing possum (or they “broke kayfabe” and were concerned for Shawn). Vince and Lawler shut up (thank goodness) and eventually Vince enters the ring as we cut to a break. Vince hovers over his boyfriend as oxygen is applied. Pat Patterson joins the EMTs and Lawler wanders around and wonders what to do. Shawn “wakes up” as the show goes off the air. Excellent angle for the time.
The announcers do the hard sell not to change the channel. “The Super Bowl of Wrestling tonight! Sting vs. Hogan!”
Scott Norton vs. The Shark
Shark attacks Norton from behind in the aisle and beats him down to ringside and into the post. Norton is belly to belly suplexed in the ring. Shark squashes him in the corner. Norton starts to no sell, dodges a charge and powerslams Shark for the pin! Another fun, yet short match between the hosses.
Jimmy Hart and Kevin Sullivan enjoy the dissension between Hogan/Savage and Sting. Sullivan hypes the World War 3 battle royal.
Disco Inferno dances. Eddy Guerrero scares him off.
Eddy Guerrero vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
WHOA! Brian Pillman comes down with Flair and Flair concedes his spot to Pillman since Eddy isn’t worth Flair’s time.
Eddy vs. Pillman
Eddy hits a flying headscissors, a dropkick and a back suplex as Bischoff welcomes the viewers who tuned in just now during RAW’s commercial break. Eddy tries a jump from the top rope and eats a dropkick. Pillman rips at Eddy’s face and chokes away. Pillman back drops and suplexes Eddy. He tries to ground Guerrero with a headlock but Eddy escapes but eats a power slam. Pillman starts to push Eddy around and Guerrero gets pissed and starts punching away. Pillman manages to suplex Eddy to the concrete. Brian misses the follow up splash and Brian hits the rail. Eddy hits a huge plancha onto Pillman on the floor. Eddy tries another top rope move but Brian crotches him. Pillman tries to superplex Eddy but he is pushed off and frog splashed for the pin! Good solid bout. Eddy continues to impress. The Horsemen keep losing.
Road Warrior Hawk vs. Big Bubba Rogers
Bischoff teases a WWF star will jump to WCW to be a surprise entrant in the WW3 battle royal. (Spoiler alert: No one does) Hawk attacks Bubba on the floor with forearms. Hawk pounds away in the ring and slams Bubba. A follow up flying fist drop from the top misses. Bubba uses a foreign object to stagger Hawk but a corner splash is botched as both men go for a different move. Hawk and Bubba collide on a shoulder block. Another attempt has Bubba hit a side slam. Bubba lays Hawk on the ropes and jumps on Hawk’s back. Bubba wears at Hawk until Bubba tries to tape his own fist but “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan trips him and Bubba is loopy enough from that to be pinned. Bowling shoe ugly.
Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Sting is in red and yellow. Hogan is sporting black. Macho Man comes down and waits by the entryway. Hogan sneaks in thru the audience. Hogan is still in his silly black mask. Crowd is shitting on Hogan. Sting hammers away with forearms and punches. Hogan hits a clothesline in the corner and punches to a chorus of boos. Sting hits a pair of dropkicks and Hogan flies over the top rope and unto the floor. Hogan drags Sting to the floor and suplexes him. Hogan rakes Sting’s back. Sting hits a crossbody and that resets the match. Hogan works over Sting’s arm as Savage says Hogan needs to make Sting admit which side he is on. Hogan locks in a kimura but Sting escapes and traps Hogan in his own arm bar. Hogan reverses that into a full nelson and a headlock. The announcers play up how Hogan and Sting are wearing each other out so close to the PPV. Sting hits the Stinger splash but Hogan traps him in a bear hug. Hogan hits a half ass axe bomber and a back drop. Sting kicks out Hogan’s leg and locks in the Scorpion Death lock. Hogan powers out. Hulk up – crowd is still not having it. Hogan unloads with punches and the big boot. Sting dodges the leg drop and Hogan re-injures his leg. Another Scorpion Death Lock. The Dungeon of Doom jump in and Sting and Hogan fight them off. The Giant traps both men in chokeholds until Savage hits him with a chair. Savage is choke-slammed for his efforts.
We get the PPV hard sell from the announcers (No line up given except the battle royal by the way) and that’s a wrap.
Perhaps the best head to head battle for Monday Nights yet as WCW gives away a money match to help bring ratings and hopefully buys to their PPV in 6 days. WWF countered with an energetic live RAW that had two instances that felt beyond the norm and created a buzz for their product. The continuing rebellion against Hogan by WCW fans is an interesting and unintentional story to follow – one that I know goes on for at least another 5 months as Hogan compensates by pushing himself harder and harder. The fun continues this Thursday as I cover World War 3!